The night before I was supposed to fly out to Jackson, WY, I drove down to Newark Airport and stayed the night at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. They also have airport parking so it killed two birds with one stone, especially since I had a 5:30 AM flight the next morning.
Getting through TSA was horrible. I have TSA Pre Check but I still had to wait in the same line as everyone else and after ID control I was given a piece of paper that said TSA Pre Check. That enabled me to push my stuff to the scanner ahead of everyone else and walk through with my shoes on.
We were delayed 30 minutes because the ground crew had to replace bulb in the cockpit. Landing at O'Hare I had 15 minutes before my connection to Jackson started boarding so I ran for my next flight. I got to the gate at 7:53 AM!
However, we didn't start boarding because there is a problem with the plane. Boarding is pushed back 2 hours. I checked with one of the gate agents about getting on another flight and they were more than happy to put me on another airline, which in hindsight I should have taken the offer. However, the pilot came out and told everyone at the gate that a part was being flown up from Charlotte and as soon as the broken part was replaced we would be on our way.
Around noon the gate was changed and everyone heading to Jackson had to endure further delays. Someone talked to customer service and they said the plane was fixed but the crew timed out. Then we were told the plane was used for another flight and a plane was coming in from Reagan International and would be our plane.
Finally, a gate agent arrived around 5:30 PM after the latest delay was posted and informed us that a plane was on it's way and we would be departing at the time posted.
Other travelers were impacted even more. People who had free transportation arranged now had to pay upwards of $100 to get to their hotels.
The following day later I got an email from American Airlines apologizing for the delays and 10,000 miles added to my account.